Police Shoot Knife Wielding Suspect in Midwood

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A man wielding a knife was shot and killed by police inside a Brooklyn apartment during a dispute in which another man was fatally stabbed.

Police say officers arriving at the scene on Ocean Parkway in Midwood about 7:20 p.m. Monday saw a woman and a man holding a knife.

Police say a second man then entered the apartment and confronted the knife-wielding suspect, who was then shot by police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The second man was taken to a hospital with stab wounds and pronounced dead.

Police said earlier that a woman had been stabbed, but retracted that report. The woman is being questioned.
It was not clear how the three people in the apartment were related.
None of the officers were injured.

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Assemblywoman Brings Crossing Guard to Busy Flatbush Intersection

Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein is proud to announce that, working closely with the New York Police Department, she successfully secured a new school crossing guard for student and pedestrian assistance at the intersection of Kings Highway and Nostrand Avenue.

Recently, local parents of children not eligible for bus service from their schools who walk to school reached out, citing the intersection as one of the most dangerous in Brooklyn. Previously, the Assemblywoman’s petition for coverage at this junction was denied because the intersection is under the jurisdiction of no less than three NYPD Precincts. The Assemblywoman reached out to Assistant Chief Owen Monaghan of the NYPD’s Brooklyn Borough South who worked diligently to make this a reality.

“Persistence and hard work pays off,” said Joel Weisblum, Executive Director of Yeshiva Derech Hatorah, located at the intersection. “On behalf of the Yeshiva, and more importantly, the beautiful children of our Yeshiva, I would like to thank the Assemblywoman for assistance in getting us this much needed crossing guard.”

“I am extremely happy,” said local parent, Yael S. “We thank Assemblywoman Weinstein and the NYPD for all their efforts on behalf of our children. We now have peace of mind.”

The new guard is on Monday through Thursday from 7:15 to 9:15am, and in the afternoon, during school dismissals, from 2:30 to 5:00pm and Friday, when she is on duty from 10:30 to 1:30pm.

Greenfield Works With DOE to Resolve Related Service Disruptions to Yeshiva Students

After hearing from dozens of parents, Councilman David Greenfield took action and secured a commitment from NYC Department of Education to promptly resolve issues surrounding their non-public school special education and related services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and health services. Numerous parents and service providers contacted Councilman Greenfield to relay their frustrations and detail their difficulties getting services for children that were already approved by DOE. After speaking with top DOE officials, Councilman Greenfield was assured that the agency would not only act immediately to address these issues but would also ensure that any child that misses services will receive makeup sessions.

“It is really unbelievable that the Department of Education is forcing children to wait for the related services they need to succeed,” said Councilman Greenfield. “Providing these special ed and related services isn’t a choice, it is the law. I am now confident that the DOE officials who administer these services fully understand that and I take them at their word that they are doing everything in their power to make sure services are restored to our children within a matter of days and that all missed sessions are made-up.”

Unfortunately, parents of children with special needs must jump through several administrative hoops each year to get the services their children are entitled to by law. The long process begins in the winter when parents begin submitting paperwork for the next year’s services and continues throughout the summer as parents and providers struggle to get reimbursements for the previous years’ services. Over the past few years the Department of Education has made attempts to streamline the process for both parents and providers. However, these attempts have encountered numerous difficulties resulting in increased delays. This not only impacts children who don’t get services but also hundreds of providers who can’t work and as a result can’t earn an income because they have no children to service.

This year parents and providers have had to wait several weeks to receive necessary forms for services. The delays are especially problematic because each day of service is crucial to the student’s development. Providers, unable to get the necessary approvals in a timely manner, are forced to choose between beginning work with their students and risk not being reimbursed for their services or delaying work until everything has been resolved. The DOE reports that the cause of this year’s delays is computer failures which have led to massive slowdowns in processing requests for special education services. DOE has promised Councilman Greenfield that the situation is a top priority and will be resolved as soon as possible.

In 2 Boroughs, 2 Rallies Over NYPD Actions

ilovenypdHundreds have attended rallies over the actions of New York City police officers – one in protest, the other in support.

In Brooklyn, about two hundred people marched Saturday in support of a five-month pregnant woman taken to the ground by an officer last week.

Her lawyer says they’re meeting with prosecutors on Tuesday.

Resident Evelyn Garcia attended the rally to call attention to what she said was increased police brutality. Video of the altercation has sparked anger.

But on Staten Island about 700 people attended to show their support for officers from the borough who have died in the line of duty.

The Staten Island Advance reports the gathering was put together by retired officers to honor the sacrifice NYPD officers make.
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Brooklyn Battery Tunnel Closures

The Hugh L. Carey (formerly Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnel will be fully closed in both directions for several hours on Sunday, September 28th, for the annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run. One tube will be closed beginning tonight at 10:00 PM. The other will remain open until 8:00 AM on Sunday, 9/28, when both tubes will be fully closed until 3:00 PM for the event. Consider alternate routes and allow for additional travel time.

NYC City Council Hosts Celebration of Russian-Speaking New Yorkers in City Hall

The culture, food and contributions of Russian-speaking New Yorkers were on full display at City Hall on Monday evening at a celebration hosted by Council Member Mark Treyger, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Members Chaim Deutsch, David Greenfield and Karen Koslowitz and the Council’s Jewish Caucus in the City Council Chambers. Council Member Treyger was especially proud to host this event in his capacity as the first ever Russian speaking member of the New York City Council and a first generation New Yorker. Assembly Members Alec Brook-Krasny, Bill Colton and Helene Weinstein, who all represent large Russian speaking communities in southern Brooklyn, were also in attendance.

The Celebration of Russian-Speaking New Yorkers featured a reception with food from Russian restaurants from around Brooklyn and Queens and performances by the Brighton Beach Ballet. In addition, leaders from throughout New York’s Russian-speaking community were presented with Council proclamations in recognition of all of their contributions to our city, including President of the Association of Holocaust Survivors from the Former Soviet Union Boris Lerman, Gregory Davidzon of Davidzon Media, journalist Ari Kagan, Inna Stavitsky of JASA and businessman Boris Kandov. This event marked the return of this great celebration to City Hall and will hopefully become an annual event once again, especially as the city’s Russian-speaking population continues to grow in communities across the five boroughs.

“It was great to see our proud heritage being celebrated in City Hall by so many members of New York’s Russian-speaking community. It is important that we always remember where we came from, so I was extremely proud to host this celebration with my colleagues. Russian-speaking New Yorkers have added so much to our city throughout the years, and this was a great chance to honor those contributions and achievements,” said Council Member Treyger.

“I thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and my fellow co-hosts Council Member Mark Treyger, Council Member Karen Koslowitz, Council Member David Greenfield, and Council Member Mark Levine and the Jewish Caucus for working together to celebrate the Russian-speaking community in NYC. In particular I want to congratulate my honoree, Inna Stavitsky, a hardworking, dedicated community activist. I also extend my congratulations to the other honorees, Gregory Davidzon, Boris Lerman, and Ari Kagan,” said Council Member Deutsch.

“I am proud to represent the growing and important Russian-American community of Southern Brooklyn. My great thanks to Councilman Mark Treyger and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for hosting this important event honoring Russian speaking New Yorkers. Our honorees are truly extraordinary New Yorkers deserving of praise,” said Council Member Greenfield.

“It was a pleasure to be part of this Celebration of Russian Speaking New Yorkers. New York has been and continues to be the dream of a better tomorrow for so many Russian speaking men and women who come here with nothing BUT their dreams, in search of freedom and opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families. I’d like to thank Council Member Treyger and my colleagues for hosting this special event in honoring our city’s Russian Speaking New Yorkers,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“The Russian speaking people in my community are hardworking, entrepreneurial and above all, family oriented. They are proud of their heritage and grateful to be American. I am delighted that so many have decided to live and work in my district,” said Council Member Koslowitz.

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Local Assemblyman Asks Public School to Better Manage It’s Piles of Trash

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Assemblyman Hikind is asking Public School 160 to better manage its piles of garbage, which residents say are destroying their quality of life. The Assemblyman spoke with school Principal Margaret Russo yesterday about the situation.

Residents near P.S. 160 on 51st Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway have been complaining that huge piles of garbage, resulting from the daily meals of nearly 1400 students and faculty, are left out twice each day in front of the school for sanitation to remove at night. The result is an all-day stench that has become unbearable to people living in the neighborhood. The residents say they have been complaining for a long time but nothing has been done so they turned to Hikind.

“Public schools need to work with the community,” said Hikind. “At the request of residents, I visited the neighborhood and I saw with my own eyes—and smelled with my own nose—how bad the situation is. There are trails of wet debris from leaking garbage bags that run down the street and, quite frankly, it stinks. This situation has brought vermin and is destroying the quality of life for residents in the neighborhood. This intolerable situation must be addressed.”

When garbage from P.S. 180 was causing a similar problem, Assemblyman Hikind worked with former NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott to resolve the matter.

“I look forward to seeing this problem resolved so residents on 51st Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway can return to the quality of life they deserve,” said Hikind.

Public Advocate Letitia James Announces Emergency Task Force to Fight Discrimination

IMG_6043.JPGToday, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James announced the creation of a taskforce to take on the rise in hate crimes against Jewish and Muslim New Yorkers. The taskforce, comprised of leaders from the Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths, will be aim to make short term and long-term policy recommendations to mitigate hate crimes in New York, with a focus on crimes that target the Jewish and Muslim communities.

“Our city belongs to all New Yorkers regardless of which religion they adhere to or whether they affiliate with any religion at all,” said New York City Public Advocate Letitia James. “We stand united in supporting every community in New York and creating a climate that fosters acceptance. The Public Advocate’s Task Force on Hate Crimes will examine and advance specific action items to address the rise in hate crimes against Muslim and Jewish New Yorkers. While divisive efforts like the controversial anti-Muslim ads may seek to tear us apart, New Yorkers will rise above and come together as we always do.”

Members of the task force represent a cross-section of New York City and have worked in various capacities to foster understand among the many communities that make up the mosaic of the city.

Members include: Aisha Al-Adawiya, founder of Women in Islam; Chanina Sperlin, Executive Vice President Crown Heights Jewish Community Council; David M. Pollock, Co-Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York; Debbie Almontaser, Executive Director of the Muslim Consultative Network; Evan Bernstein, New York Regional Director for the Anti-Defamation League; Jacob Itzkowitz, NYPD Clergy Liason, Williamsburg Shomrim Safety Patrol; Imam Khalid Latif, Chaplain at NYPD and NYU; Michael Schmidt, Director of New York City Chapter of the American Jewish Committee; Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition; Shahana Masum, Bangladeshi American Advocacy Group/MUNA; Susie Lozada, Community Organizing and Political Director of Unite Here 100; Victor Kovner of the Brennan Center for Justice and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

The task force will create a list of recommendations to address hate crimes affecting Jewish and Muslim communities throughout New York City.

West 11th Street and Highlawn Avenue Named “Firefighter William ‘Billy’ Tropea Way” in Honor of 9/11 Hero

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Council Member Mark Treyger was joined on Saturday morning by hundreds of Gravesend residents and FDNY members to co-name the corner of West 11th Street and Highlawn Avenue “Firefighter William ‘Billy’ Tropea Way” in honor of the longtime firefighter and 9/11 hero who passed away in 2010 from cancer contracted in the aftermath of the terror attack.

Billy was born on July 14, 1956 and was raised in Gravesend, attending P.S. 215, David A. Boody Intermediate School, John Dewey High School and Brooklyn College. He began his career as a New York City firefighter in 1987 and was honored to give back to his community in this capacity. He served the city for over 22 years at Engine 245, Ladder 161 and Battalion 43 in Coney Island as a firefighter and aide to the Battalion Chief. In addition to being a firefighter, Billy was remembered as an accomplished pianist, competitive athlete, handyman, gardener and dedicated family man, especially to his children, Samantha and Billy.

At Saturday’s ceremony, Billy’s family and friends shared stories highlighting some of the many ways he helped others, including complete strangers, without ever seeking the spotlight. The ceremony featured the FDNY color guard and FDNY Emerald Society Pipes & Drums and was attended by hundreds of Billy’s friends and neighbors and dozens of his former FDNY colleagues. Following remarks from Billy’s wife Janet, friends Chris Bruno, Robert Glynn and Lt. Michael Duran, George Frenzel of the local block association, Council Member Treyger, Senator Marty Golden and Borough President Eric Adams, the family unveiled the new sign at W. 11th Street and Highlawn Avenue designating the block “Firefighter William ‘Billy’ Tropea Way.”

“I am proud to help ensure that Billy Tropea’s life and legacy will be honored for generations to come by dedicating this street in his memory. By all accounts, Billy was a remarkable person who was committed to helping others however possible, whether as a member of the FDNY or simply as a great neighbor. It was incredibly touching to hear his family and friends share their memories and stories of Billy at Saturday’s ceremony. It was also great to see so many of Billy’s friends and nearly the entire block take the time to remember this great individual,” said Council Member Treyger.

“Co-naming W. 11th Street at Highlawn Avenue in my husband’s name was a true honor. He was a man who led his live helping others in any way he possibly could. My family, including our daughter Samantha, son-in-law Joe, grandson Joseph and son Billy are extremely proud, grateful and blessed to have had Billy in our lives. Whenever someone drives or walks past this sign, please remember to show an act of kindness that day, as Billy did every day of his life,” said Janet Tropea.

Council Member Treyger also extended his thanks to the Tropea family, the FDNY and everyone who played a role in making this co-naming happen, including West 11th Street Block Association President George Frenzel, Council Member David Greenfield and Assembly Member Bill Colton.

Alternate Side Rules Suspended Thursday and Friday, September 25-26

Alternate side parking (street cleaning) regulations will be suspended Thursday and Friday, September 25-26 for Rosh Hashanah.

All other regulations, including parking meters, remain in effect.

Man Stabbed During Fight Over Money

Police say a man has been stabbed in the neck in what is believed to be a dispute over money.

The incident occurred just after 1 p.m. Monday in Brooklyn Heights.

Officials say a man in his 30s was rushed to Lutheran medical Center in serious condition with a stab wound in his neck. They say a man in his 20s was arrested at the scene and a knife was recovered.

Police didn’t release the identities of the men and the nature of the dispute wasn’t immediately known.

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Brooklyn Man Caught With 250 Envelopes of Heroin Near Canadian Border

A law enforcement drug task force says it has arrested a New York City man after he was caught with more than 250 envelopes of heroin near the Canadian border in northern New York.
The Adirondack Drug Task Force says it arrested 21-year-old Michael McDonald of Brooklyn during a traffic stop in Plattsburgh on Thursday.
Officials say he was carrying 254 wax envelopes of heroin.
McDonald was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. He’s being held in the Clinton County Jail on $50,000 cash bail. It couldn’t immediately be determined if he has a lawyer.
The Adirondack Drug Task Force includes federal agencies, state police, Plattsburgh city police and the county sheriff’s and district attorney’s offices.
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Weekend Bridge and Street Closures – September 20-21

The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to Manhattan-bound traffic on Saturday from 12:01 am to 7 am and on Sunday from 12:01 am to 9 am. Motorists should consider the Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, or Hugh L. Carey Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (MTA-tolled facility) as alternate routes.

One of three lanes on the lower roadway of the Manhattan Bridge westbound to Manhattan will be closed from 7 am to 10 pm Saturday and Sunday to facilitate bridge repairs.

The Grand Street Bridge over Newtown Creek will be closed in both directions on Saturday between 7 am and 1 pm for deck grating and sidewalk repairs. Metropolitan Avenue may be used as an alternative route.

The Willis Avenue Bridge will be closed intermittently between 2 am and 5 am nightly through October 31 to test the swing span. Each swing span test is expected to take 15 minutes or less.

The Central Park transverse at 65th Street will be closed to traffic, except for emergency vehicles, on Saturday between 12:01 am and 6 am for inspection of the bridge under-decks.

The Park Avenue northbound viaduct from East 41st Street to East 46th Street will be closed from 12:01 am Saturday to 5 am Monday to facilitate MTA Metro North deck repairs. Motorists can use 3rd Avenue.

There will be lane closures on the Gowanus Expressway inbound/northbound from Prospect Expressway to Gowanus Canal/Clinton Street from 11 pm Friday to 9 pm Sunday to facilitate NY State DOT bridge deck joint replacement.

Mulberry Street between Canal Street and East Houston Street, Grand Street between Mott Street and Centre Street, and Hester Street between Mott and Centre Street will be closed daily Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 am to 11 pm for the San Gennaro Festival.

The following streets will be closed on Saturday:
* 5th Avenue between 67th Street and 86th Street and 67th Street between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan will be closed from noon to 3 pm for the German American Day Parade.
* Broadway between Waverly Place and 14th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 6 pm for the Broadway Autumn Fair.
* Havemeyer Street between South 4th Street and Grand Street in Brooklyn will be closed from 1 pm to 6 pm for DOT Weekend Walks Southside Connex.
* Stone Street between Hanover Square and Broad Street, Hanover Square between William Street and Pearl Street, and Mill Lane between South William Street and Stone Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 10 pm for the Stone Street Oyster Festival.
* Maiden Lane between Front Street and South Street in Manhattan will be closed from noon to 6 pm for Dushara.

The following streets in Manhattan will be closed on Sunday from 11:30 am to 1 pm for the People’s Climate March:
* Broadway between 59th Street and 54th Street
* 6th Avenue between Central Park South and 42nd Street
* 11th Avenue between 42nd Street and 34th Street
* Central Park West between 59th Street and 86th Street
* Central Park South between Columbus Circle and 6th Avenue
* 58th Street between 8th Avenue and 9th Avenue
* 42nd Street between 6th Avenue and 11th Avenue
* 36th Street to 40th Street between 10th Avenue and 12th Avenue

The following streets will be closed on Sunday:
* Madison Avenue between 38th Street and 27th Street, 27th Street between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue, and 37th Street and 38th Street between 5th Avenue and Park Avenue in Manhattan will be closed from noon to 4 pm for the Mexican Day Parade.
* Columbus Avenue between 66th Street and 86th Street in Manhattan will be closed from noon to 5 pm for the Columbus Avenue Festival.
* 12th Avenue between 44th Street and North Moore Street and the Hudson River Park bicycle path between North Moore and 44th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 7 am to noon for the Rosedale Woman’s Health 10K Run.
* Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard between 111th Street and 136th Street will be closed from 1 pm to 6 pm for the African American Day Parade.
* Malcolm X Boulevard between 134th Street and 122nd Street, 134th Street between Frederick Douglas Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard, 122nd Street between Malcolm X Boulevard and Mt. Morris Park West, and 134th Street between Frederick Douglas Boulevard and Malcolm X Boulevard in Manhattan will be closed from 2 pm to 4 pm for the African Cultural Center Parade.
* Fulton Street between Water Street and William Street in Manhattan will be closed from noon to 6 pm for the Community Board #1 Fulton Street Fair.
* Amsterdam Avenue between West 106th Street and West 110th Street in Manhattan will be closed from 11 am to 5 pm for the DOT Weekend Walks Bloomingdale Family Days.
* Graham Avenue between Broadway and Debevoise Street in Brooklyn will be closed from 1 pm to 6 pm for the Brooklyn Puerto Rican Day Parade.
* Cortelyou Road between Coney Island Avenue and Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn will be closed from noon to 6 pm for the Flatbush Frolic.
* 8th Avenue between 66th Street and 55th Street in Brooklyn will be closed from 2 pm to 3 pm for the Chinese Moon Festival.
* Montague Street between Clinton Street and Hicks Street Avenue in Brooklyn will be closed from noon to 5 pm for the DOT Weekend Walks Summer Space.
* Broadway between Crescent Street and 47th Street in Queens will be closed from noon to 6 pm for the Broadway Merchants Professionals Association Festival.

The times listed for closures for street fairs are for the actual times of the street fairs themselves. The streets may be closed longer to allow for set-up and breakdown. Street fair organizers are generally permitted to begin set-up at 8 am and breakdown must be completed by 7 pm.

Ohio Man Sentenced To 37 Years-To-Life In Prison For Rape Of Prospect Heights Woman

Prosecutors today announced that a Cincinnati, Ohio man has been sentenced to 37 years-to-life in prison for raping a Prospect Heights woman in May 2011.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This is a horrific case where a young woman’s life was ruined at the hands of a rapist. This defendant will spend a huge portion of his life in prison due to his violent, deplorable and reprehensive acts.”

District Attorney Thompson identified the defendant as Carlos Hairston, 39, of 3382 McHenry Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio. The defendant was sentenced yesterday by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Joel M. Goldberg to 37 years-to-life in prison. Hairston was convicted after a jury trial of first-degree rape, second-degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony, first-degree criminal sexual act and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse.

According to the trial testimony, on May 14, 2011, at approximately 2:00 a.m., as she entered her apartment building, the defendant grabbed the 22-year-old victim from behind, placed his hand over her mouth, and dragged her to the laundry room in the basement. The defendant repeatedly threatened to kill the victim if she screamed, and told her, “I am the Devil, this is what I do”

The defendant then forced the victim to remove her clothes and perform a sex act. The defendant then raped her. He threatened to kill the woman if she called the police.

25 Elected Officials Call for More Action to Combat Shocking Rise in Anti-Semitic Crimes

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The NYC Comptroller, Council Members, and members of the state legislature joined Council Members David G. Greenfield, Mark Levine, Mark Treyger and Steve Levin who hosted a rally denouncing the 39% rise in anti-Semitic crimes this year on the steps of City Hall. They were joined by Comptroller Scott Stringer, Council Members Corey Johnson, Jumaane Williams, Vanessa Gibson, Ydanis Rodriquez, Brad Lander, Helen Rosenthal, Mathieu Eugene, Andy Cohen, Costa Constantinides, Brad Lander, Donovan Richards, Karen Koslowitz, Ben Kallos, Rory Lancman, Margaret Chin, Andy King, Laurie Cumbo, Mark Weprin and Assemblymember Helene Weinstein, State Senators Simcha Felder, Liz Krueger and representatives from the office of Public Advocate Letitia James and Councilman Chaim Deutsch as well Michael Miller from the JCRC and Jeff Leb from the Orthodox Union who all stood together to protest the waves of vandalism and violence against the global Jewish Community in New York City.

According to the NYPD in 2013 there was a total of 192 hate crimes total, 64 of them being anti-Semitic attacks including 3 assaults. Already in 2014 there have been 224 total hate crimes, 89 of them anti-Semitic in nature including 8 assaults. The stories of the attacks are loathsome. Several hate crimes have been reported this summer following vandalism, harassment, and violence against the Jewish community.

Around New York City, this spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes has spurned great concern across the five boroughs, especially in advance of the Jewish high holidays which start with Rosh Hashanah next week. The Jewish Community has historically always been a target of hate and violence during the fall holiday season which makes denouncing this trend of violence especially important now.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise internationally. Crimes of hate are ballooning through Europe where anti-Semitic crimes have been reported in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

“As we have seen waves of hateful violence against the Jewish community sweep across Europe we must act to stop it in its tracks here in New York City. We are standing together to make it clear that this rise in anti-Semitism is unacceptable and more must be done by our own city to ends these disgusting attacks. “It is especially urgent for us to speak up now as the Jewish High Holidays are upon us next week. We need more done now,” said Councilman David Greenfield.